The fruit ‘important for brain health’ – eating it every day may reverse cognitive decline

One study, conducted by the University of Carolina, suggests eating wild blueberries could reverse cognitive decline in elderly individuals.

The researchers found elderly individuals could benefit significantly if they ate the food every day; a result which some consider potentially ground-breaking.

Publishing their findings in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience, they gathered data from 86 adults between the ages of 65 and 80.

While all in this first group reported cognitive issues, another 43 with cognitive ailments were also recruited to act as a control.

It was by comparing the control group of 43 and the active group of 86 that the surprising findings for wild blueberries were ascertained.

The researchers said this could be in large part down to the presence of phytochemicals in blueberries; these have evolved defences from skin cancer and other elements in the environment.

Author of the paper, Dr Mary Ann Lila, said: “Phytochemicals are compounds in plants that develop to defend the plant from environmental stress, fungi, bacteria, and viruses.”

“Once consumed by humans, they transfer these health benefits to us. The research study conducted here at the NRI shows that the phytochemicals specific to the wild blueberry are important for brain health.”

This study could be crucial for future research into dementia, a disease which takes the lives of around 67,000 Britons every year and around one in three people born today are projected to become affected by in the future.

However, this isn’t the only study which has linked blueberries to dementia risk. Another study, conducted by the University of Cincinnati, has also looked into the effect of blueberries on the mind.

The paper, published in the Nutrients journal, shows that regular blueberry consumption could reduce someone’s risk of dementia.

Robert Krikorian, one of the authors of the study, said: “We had observed cognitive benefits with blueberries in prior studies with older adults and thought they might be effective in younger individuals with insulin resistance. Alzheimer’s disease, like all chronic diseases of ageing, develops over a period of many years beginning in midlife.”

In common with the University of California study, this project had a small participant cohort of around 33. This patient cohort was between the ages of 50 and 65 and was overweight and had noticed mild memory decline.

Over a 12 week period, the group were asked to abstain from berry consumption barring the use of supplement powder containing similar compounds to those found in blueberries.

As well as reducing their risk of dementia, those who consumed blueberries showed improved results in cognitive tasks and better metabolic function.

They also experienced lower levels of oxidative stress, a condition which can lead to fatigue and memory loss.

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  • 22 часа, 1 минута назад 02.10.2022Health Care
    The war against superbugs caught in congressional quagmire

    Lawmakers are on the brink of missing a critical window to fix America’s broken antibiotic market — and to prepare for the growing crisis of superbugs that federal officials say is a national security threat and experts warn is already a silent pandemic.

    Nearly 50,000 people die each year in the U.S. from drug-resistant and antibiotic-associated infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency says the crisis grew worse during Covid-19 as doctors over-prescribed antibiotics and inundated hospitals failed to control drug-resistant infections, which spiked by at least 15 percent in 2020.

    A bipartisan group of lawmakers has proposed legislation to help create drugs that can fight drug-resistant pathogens as the treatments for life-threatening problems from respiratory infections to sepsis stop working.

    But a classic end-of-year congressional quagmire — a tight calendar, a heated election season, fights over spending, and inertia — threatens to stymie progress before the end of the year.

    If they miss the moment, the bill will get pushed into the next Congress where it could lose momentum, leaving the country unprepared for a growing problem that already costs the U.S. health care system billions of dollars a year.

    “We’re playing with fire if we don’t pass this fairly soon,” said Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), one of the bill’s lead sponsors. “Every day that passes, we see more deaths on account of antimicrobial resistance, and this situation grows more challenging and more costly.”

    For years, the handful of drugmakers developing new antibiotics that fight drug-resistant bugs have struggled to stay afloat. Several companies that have ushered lifesaving drugs through the long, expensive development process have gone bankrupt once they were approved, buckling under the financial pressure of selling a product that, by definition, needs to be used sparingly to preserve its power.

    The string of failures has spooked investors, leaving an anemic supply of drugs in development.

    The bill, dubbed the PASTEUR Act after French microbiologist Louis Pasteur, would create a “subscription” model for antimicrobial drugs that delinks payments to drug companies from how much medicine they sell, helping them survive financially and preserving the powerful new drugs for infections that don’t respond to any other drug.

    Under the proposal, once the FDA approves a drug, the company would apply to the Department of Health and Human Services for a contract that would spread millions — or even billions — of dollars in payments to the firm over time. In exchange, federally insured patients would receive the drug free of cost.

    Young and the bill’s other lead sponsors in the House and Senate are eyeing ways to attach the bill to a year-end legislative package — likely one to fund the government for the rest of fiscal 2023. But even they are unsure it will happen this year, citing the bill’s price tag of $11 billion over 10 years as a major stumbling block for lawmakers who have gone months without allocating new funding to Covid-19. A Senate aide familiar with discussions on the legislation said policymakers are working to whittle down the bill’s cost.

    “We’re at this tipping point right now where we get this passed this year in this Congress or not,” said Aleks Engel, director of the REPAIR Impact Fund

    If they don’t do it in time, PASTEUR — first introduced in 2020 — will get kicked into the next Congress, where some worry it won’t be a priority if Republicans control one or both chambers.

    “We’re at this tipping point right now where we get this passed this year in this Congress or not,” said Aleks Engel, director of the REPAIR Impact Fund of the investment firm Novo Holdings, at the recent AMR World Congress. “If Republicans take over in January, I think there’s a risk they might not prioritize [it], and then it will take awhile.”

    The bill’s advocates say that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the frontrunner for speaker next year should Republicans win control of the House in November, has an interest in antimicrobial resistance and could be a champion for the bill. McCarthy spokespeople didn’t respond to requests for comment.

    Experts on superbugs say the cost-benefit analysis should be obvious to lawmakers. Antimicrobial resistance is already a leading global cause of death, killing some 1.7 million people in 2019.

    Not only do antibiotic-resistant pathogens result from the misuse of antibiotics, but also these so-called “superbugs” are becoming better at passing on their ability to resist common medicines, experts warn.

    “It’s $11 billion over a decade — a billion and change per year,” said Kevin Outterson, executive director of CARB-X, a nonprofit group that invests in treatment, vaccine and diagnostics to fight antibiotic resistance. “Spread across 330 million Americans, it’s about three or four bucks — or a Starbucks latte per American per year — to preserve the most important drug class in human history.”

    ‘A third rail’

    Between 2006 and 2014, the U.S. government invested $225 million in a small biotech company in San Francisco called Achaogen.

    Achaogen was working on a promising antibiotic that federal officials thought had the potential to treat multiple health problems, including dangerous drug-resistant blood infections. The Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) all invested in Achaogen to help the firm get the drug through the exorbitant process of research, development and clinical trials.

    They succeeded, and the FDA approved Achaogen’s groundbreaking drug in 2018. But within a year, the company went bankrupt, and it was eventually sold off for a fraction of the government’s investment to an Indian pharmaceutical company.

    The dramatic failure of Achaogen and a few other high-profile companies like it have sent investors fleeing from antibiotic development.

    “There’s been an almost complete exodus of private investment in new antimicrobials,” said Henry Skinner, CEO of AMR Action Fund, a nonprofit that invests in new antibiotics. “They won’t touch this space. This is a third rail.”

    Groups like AMR Action Fund, the REPAIR Impact Fund and CARB-X have cropped up to put some money into the companies working on new drugs, but their leaders don’t see nonprofit investment as a long-term fix.

    Since 2010, BARDA, one of the major financial backers of CARB-X, has invested close to $2 billion in antimicrobial resistance, a problem it sees as both a threat to national security in the event of a bioterror attack or a natural disaster and to public health as critical antibiotics’ effectiveness wane.

    After Achaogen’s failure, the agency has started supporting some of the companies that it has backed in the challenging post-approval phase. It’s not fixing the root of the problem, but it’s better than doing nothing, said Chris Houchens, director of BARDA’s division of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear medical countermeasures.

    “We’re providing a lot of funding to get products to the point of that FDA approval,” he said. “We keep developing these products to approval and then they risk going off the cliff into financial insolvency.”

    Congress first tried to tackle the antibiotics market problem in 2012, passing legislation to promote the development of new antibacterial and antifungal drugs by creating a fast-track review program for “qualified infectious disease products.” Drugs granted that designation qualify for five extra years of marketing exclusivity, allowing them more time to make more money off the drugs.

    Lawmakers went further in 2016, creating another tool dubbed LPAD — the Limited Population Pathway for Antibacterial and Antifungal Drugs — focused on promoting development of medicines for small numbers of patients with life-threatening infections.

    Drugs approved under either program can also qualify for new technology add-on payments under Medicare — a three-year bonus payment to hospitals providing those innovative treatments.

    But companies were still going out of business even after taking advantage of those programs, said Jocelyn Ulrich, deputy vice president of policy and research at PhRMA, the trade association for the pharmaceutical industry, which supports the PASTEUR Act.

    “The effectiveness of those kinds of ‘push’ incentives didn’t address what turned out to be the root cause of the issue in antimicrobial drug development, which is the market failure aspect,” she said.

    PASTEUR’s proponents say lawmakers and staff tend to grasp the gravity of the problem when they learn more about it. But getting members to put another expensive health bill at the top of their to-do list before the end of the year will be challenging, they admit.

    “Somehow, we’ve got to work that deal through,” retiring Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who has championed the bill in the House, told POLITICO. “But that’s probably too complex for the waning days of this Congress.”

    The bill’s lead sponsors said they aren’t giving up on finding a way to attach it to legislation that advances in the post-midterms lame-duck session. There could be an opening for health care legislation to be attached to a year-end omnibus spending bill — the continuing resolution, H.R. 6833, unveiled late Monday would reauthorize a handful of FDA programs until Dec. 16, creating an incentive for members to revisit other policy riders that didn’t make it into the final user fee agreement.

    But it’s an open question whether congressional leaders will feel the same pressure that the bill’s advocates do to enact fundamental changes to the payment system for novel antimicrobial drugs sooner rather than later.

    “Congress does a pretty good job of responding to immediate crises or responding after the fact to high-cost crises,” Young said.

    The Covid-19 pandemic, he said, is “ a very close analogy to what we’re trying to avoid.”

  • 23 часа, 31 минута назад 02.10.2022Health Care
    Menopausal women could experience ‘gritty’ symptom in eyes – can lead to ‘severe’ pain

    The menopause happens when hormone levels lower, causing periods to stop. This typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. Common and well-known symptoms include mood swings, difficulty sleeping and hot flushes, however, it can also have an effect on the eyes.

    According to Specsavers’ clinical services director, Giles Edmonds, menopausal women could experience dry eye.

    He explained: “Our hormones control the production of our tears and it is common for menopausal women to experience dry eye symptoms.

    “The drop in oestrogen levels can make skin become thinner and less elastic. Mucus membranes also dry out and the lacrimal glands produce less fluids, meaning eyes can become dry.

    “This can leave them feeling gritty and inflamed and looking red, and if left untreated it can cause infection or severe discomfort and pain.”

    He added: “There are a couple of things that you can do to alleviate symptoms but if these don’t help, you should discuss this with your optometrist so they can advise you on the most appropriate treatment.”

    It is good general health advice to keep your water bottle topped up, particularly when you are stuck indoors, the weather is particularly hot, or if you have air-conditioning, as good hydration can help avoid dry eye.

    Screen time can also have an impact on dry eye so follow the 20:20:20 rule: look up from your screen every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

    Looking into the distance helps relax the focusing muscles of your eyes, which in turn reduces eye fatigue.

    We’ve all heard that carrots are good for our eyes and there is some truth in it.

    That’s because carrots contain beta-carotene which helps us make vitamin A – which is an essential vitamin for our eyes.

    It is also important to make sure we eat a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, including dark green leaves, as well as oily fish, which is good for your health and may support good eye health too.

    The environment you are in can also have an impact on your eyes – especially air conditioning and heating.

    Try to add moisture back into the air by using a humidifier or placing a bowl of water underneath the radiator.

    When eyes are dry, they may need extra lubrication and using preservative free eye drops can help.

    These can be used as often as needed, depending on symptoms, and your optometrist will be able to help advise you on which drops are best for your needs.

    Using a heated mask on closed eyelids can help to soften and loosen any blocked oil glands that supply oil into the tears.

    Try this twice a day for 10 minutes and then gently massage the eyelids with clean fingers to help with oil flow.

  • 1 день назад 02.10.2022Health Care
    ‘4-alarm blaze’: New York’s public health crises converge

    This past winter, as Covid cases were beginning to decline, state health officials in New York were expecting a respite after two exhausting years and a chance to refocus on run-of-the-mill public health duties.

    Almost a year later, they are still waiting.

    The Omicron variant emerged in December, causing cases to increase ten-fold in one month and forcing the department of health to put its post-Covid strategy plans on hold. In May, monkeypox began to spread, spurring officials to scramble to find and distribute vaccines. And in July, a patient in New York tested positive for polio, triggering frantic attempts to pinpoint how a once-nearly-eradicated virus was spreading.

    “We’re now in a four-alarm blaze again,” Loretta Santilli, the department’s director of the Office of Public Health Practice, said in an August interview. “[We’re] … trying to keep the embers from spreading to the next house.”

    Despite being bolstered by more public health funding per capita than most states, New York public health officials are trying to cope with the threat of three simultaneous disease outbreaks, according to interviews conducted over the last two months with more than six New York state health officials and public health experts.

    The strain, coupled with a lack of available shots nationally, limited the department’s ability to quickly distribute the monkeypox vaccine in the early days of the outbreak. It also slowed the office’s efforts to innovate ways for New Yorkers to access geographic-based health information and to finalize a critical review, known in public health as a “hot wash,” of its Covid work that would inform its future responses.

    “They’re basically leaning on a skeleton crew of people and then have to deal with one emergency after the other,” said Jay Varma, director of the Center for Pandemic Prevention and Response at Weill Cornell Medicine. “The reality is they should be getting a lot more money and all the other states should be getting more, too.”

    New York’s situation underscores how, even after the lessons of the Covid pandemic, the country’s public health infrastructure is still not set up to tackle multiple disease outbreaks on top of other public health needs.

    “By having a perfect storm of all three diseases circulating at the same time, it is a crushing blow to health departments,” said Lawrence Gostin, a professor of public health law at Georgetown University, referring to New York. “While this clearly should have ushered in a blaring alarm to advance our preparedness, health systems and response, the exact opposite has happened. Investments in public health have plummeted over decades.”

    Since the pandemic started, state and local health departments have received tens of millions of dollars from federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to help with critical tasks such as data infrastructure and innovation, according to federal budget data. But overall, spending since 2010 for state public health has plummeted by 16 percent per capita, according to an analysis by Kaiser Health News and The Associated Press.

    Concerns over federal support for public health come at a time when public health workers are leaving their jobs in droves. Meanwhile, opioid overdoses and sexually transmitted diseases are at record levels, and infant mortality and racial inequities are on the rise.

    “I have a lot of confidence actually in our ability to respond to all of these threats,” said Mary Bassett, New York’s health commissioner in an interview in September. “What I do worry about is … as public health increasingly is seen as responding to microbes, [there] are other challenges — reproductive health, injury prevention and addressing environmental exposures … that people will see as no longer in our purview. That would be a tragic mistake. I’m hopeful that we can also begin to turn our attention to those as well.”

    In New York, Covid-19 is still infecting thousands every day, the monkeypox outbreak has infected more than 3,800. Officials said they worry about what the state and the country could see if people who are unvaccinated do not sign up for the polio shot and if Covid cases spike alongside the yearly rise in influenza cases.

    The New York state budget sets aside $349 million for public health, which includes funding for 212 full-time employees at the state department of health, and $25.7 million in 2023 and $51.5 million in 2024 to help finance local district public health offices.

    Asked whether her office has enough support and resources to tackle the myriad of health issues the department is tasked with handling, Bassett said: “The answer to that is no.”

    “I’m not just talking about New York State — I’m talking about the investment in public health nationally. We will meet the challenge. But it’s done by people working very long hours and losing sleep,” Bassett said.

    The converging health emergencies in New York come amid a broader leadership shakeup over the last year that includes a new commissioner, several new agency heads and a department reorganization following its handling of Covid-19 under former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Dozens of staffers left the office after Cuomo resigned.

    “What we’re seeing now is that people are exhausted. And many people here in New York and across the country have left public health,” said Ursula Bauer, the deputy commissioner for public health, in an August interview. “Public health has always been about optimizing outcomes with limited resources. But now we’re really seeing that we have tapped out our human resources. And that’s something that will take time to rebuild.”

    Department spokesperson Samantha Fuld did not answer questions about how many positions are still open, but said about 1,123 new staff have been hired since December 2021.

    Early this spring, New York state health officials said they were feeling like their work had finally begun to return to a normal pace.

    But in late May, New York reported its first case of monkeypox, a virus that has been found in Africa for decades and spreads through close contact with another individual. It causes painful nodules to emerge on the skin. Some strains can be deadly.

    Cases slowly rose — there were 10 cases in New York City by June. Officials realized they were dealing with yet another rare infectious disease outbreak — one that would require the overworked and exhausted public health department to work even harder.

    “To have [an emergency] so quickly on the heels of Covid … I think [it] was a bit traumatic for some of the staff who are coming off an exhausting few years,” Santilli said. “They were hoping for a nice quiet summer and they did not get what they were looking for.”

    Monkeypox had circulated in Europe for weeks before the first case was reported in the U.S. Still, health officials across the country, including in New York, were caught off guard. The vaccine and drugs that help combat the virus were in short supply and it was unclear whether or when the federal government would dole out more to states.

    “We were very surprised … to see monkeypox emerge in this community and spreading among people through intimate skin-to-skin contact,” Bauer said. “We did not, in New York, anticipate a monkeypox outbreak in our future. Clearly, the U.S. government did not anticipate this.”

    For weeks, the Biden administration scrambled to get vaccine vials out the door. The U.S. had contracted with Danish pharmaceutical company Bavarian Nordic for millions of smallpox vaccines — doses that could also be used to treat monkeypox. But the supply was limited.

    “The demand for vaccine has really outstripped the supply of the vaccine,” Travis O’Donnell, associate director of the health department’s AIDS Institute who helped work on the monkeypox response, said in an August interview. “Our ability to vaccinate all eligible persons in New York state remains paramount. [But] until the vaccine supply is fully there, we’re not going to be able to do that.”

    Throughout the summer, cases rose quickly in New York City, mostly among men who had sex with men. By mid-July, more than 460 people living in the city had contracted the virus.

    The lack of consistent and early vaccine supply spurred complaints among those who had contracted monkeypox in New York City. Sensing the frustration, officials, armed with a limited number of vials provided by the federal government, launched a public health messaging campaign that sought input from New Yorkers for ways to decrease the spread. Officials also tried to find innovative ways to get shots out to New Yorkers.

    “There’s feedback related to the limited amount of vaccine that’s available to the states. The limitations … have a domino effect on how we are able to supply each of the regions,” said Johanne Morne, the department’s deputy commissioner of health equity and human rights, in an August interview. “And there have been concerns … as it relates to the access points, particularly for black and brown individuals.”

    Morne said her team has worked on building trust with members of the community to address their concerns.

    “I spend my days often talking about the fact that the work that we do and the milestones we’ve achieved and other public health arenas would not have been capable if it weren’t for the insight and the willingness of community members to share their own lived experiences.”

    But amid the scramble to respond to monkeypox, a new threat emerged.

    On July 18, Bryon Backenson, director of the department’s Bureau of Communicable Diseases, received a call from Kirsten St. George, director of virology and chief of the laboratory of viral diseases at the Wadsworth Center, the state’s public health lab. The health department had, days earlier, reminded health care providers to watch out for signs and symptoms of acute flaccid myelitis, a polio-like disease.

    “It just so happened that that advisory showed up … pretty much the day before the individual who turned out to be our polio case presented at the hospital,” Backenson said in August. ”This particular advisory that we put out … had really put in the forefront of their minds to be on the lookout.”

    St. George was one of the first to find out about the positive case in a person living in Rockland County.

    “The molecular supervisor from the lab appeared in the doorway of my office and said, simply, ‘Kirsten, that paralysis case down in the city … we have the result: It’s probably a Type 2 polio,’’’ St. George recalled. “I simply looked at him and said, ‘You’re kidding.’”

    She asked for the sequence to be run again.

    “As soon as he told me the result, my mind, your mind, I think, for anyone in that situation, starts to run in quite a few different directions at once,” St. George said. “The importance of the finding, the public health implications, the many people who need to be notified … the consequences. But also just a single thought: Where on earth did it come from?”

    Scientists at the center had no immediate answer.

    Flooded with thoughts about the worst-case scenario, St. George and her team at the Wadsworth Center contacted the CDC. The CDC, members of the Wadsworth Center and officials from the health department convened via phone to develop a plan to determine how the individual contracted the virus and the exact degree to which it was spreading. It’s still not completely clear, officials said.

    The CDC is testing New York wastewater to get a sense of where the virus may be circulating. Samples have tested positive in several counties, including New York City, Sullivan, Rockland and Orange.

    Epidemiologists have determined that the Rockland case is genetically linked to a sample pulled from wastewater in Israel and the United Kingdom — but that doesn’t mean the individual contracted the virus there. It means that the mutations in the wastewater samples are similar.

    “We don’t really know where the transmission occurred,” said Emily Lutterloh, director of the division of epidemiology at the health department, in an August interview.

    And that’s part of what’s causing anxiety within the department. Polio can spread undetected — and at least one of the counties where wastewater samples have tested positive has a lower rate of polio vaccination than many other areas in the state.

    “I’m worried about people not taking polio seriously,” Backenson said. “Because it spreads somewhat invisibly … [and] the vast majority of people don’t have any signs and symptoms, we can rapidly increase the amount of polio that may be circulating in a particular area, which just increases the risk. And it gets us to the point where we’re going to see additional cases of paralytic polio.”

    As officials worked quickly to respond to a possible spread of polio, monkeypox cases kept climbing. By August, New York City reported almost 2,700 cases.

    On Aug. 9, the White House announced that the Food and Drug Administration was proposing an alternative method of administering the monkeypox vaccine to help increase the number of doses available. The shots, the FDA said, should be given intradermally, or in between the layers of the skin. The new method, officials said, would increase vaccine supply by five-fold.

    Since then, monkeypox cases in New York have leveled off, bringing much-needed relief to the health department.

    But concerns about polio only seem to be growing.

    Over the past several weeks, health department officials and top Biden health and White House officials have debated ways to ramp up vaccinations in communities that traditionally resist shots. On Sept. 9, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a public health emergency for polio, hoping it will convince more people in the state to get vaccinated. And last week, Bassett declared poliovirus an imminent threat to public health, opening up additional state resources for local health departments to increase vaccinations.

    “Human resources are the crux of public health infrastructure,” Santilli said. “Being able to really support [staff] … is really going to be critical to making sure that infrastructure can continue to support the responses and the everyday public health activities.”

  • 1 день, 1 час назад 02.10.2022Health Care
    Many women admit to not checking themselves enough for signs of breast cancer

    Simply forgetting emerged as a key reason for 35 percent, while others blamed it on a lack of confidence (17 percent) and a fear of what they might find (13 percent).

    It also found 22 percent of women aged 50 and over are too busy to put their breast health first.

    Dr Zoe Williams, GP and broadcaster, and UK and Ireland ambassador for the campaign said: “I want women to feel empowered to talk about breast health – it should be part of your self-care routine and there should be no shame as breasts are simply just part of our bodies.

    “However, I understand that there are barriers to self-checking among many communities and that we need to be speaking directly to these groups so that everybody feels confident to regularly self-check.

    “The research showed that of those women who do check their breasts, nearly a third (30 percent) are unaware of the signs and symptoms to look out for.

    “It’s not just lumps, there are other signs, such as irritation or dimpling of the skin on the breast or flaky skin in the nipple area.

    “If you notice any unusual changes, it’s important to contact your GP as soon as possible.”

    The study also found self-checking rates are lowest among South Asian women, women under 40 and black women.

    To better understand the barriers these women face, a series of focus groups were conducted, whereby the insight and corresponding research suggests South Asian women aren’t regularly checking themselves for fear their community or family would judge them if they found out.

    The focus groups and research also indicate black women don’t self-check due to a lack of education from older female relatives, as well as not feeling comfortable touching their breasts.

    It would appear there are also many misconceptions around who is at risk of breast cancer.

    The focus groups and research also imply women under the age of 40 don’t regularly self-check because they don’t think breast cancer affects them right now – and are under the impression you can only get breast cancer in your 50s.

    Or they assume they are too ‘flat-chested’ to be affected.

    The study also found 12 percent South Asian and black women who have never checked themselves for signs of breast cancer haven’t done so because they feel there is a stigma within their community around acknowledging or speaking of the subject.

    While 10 percent of these same respondents are too embarrassed to self-check.

    Leanne Pero, founder of Black Women Rising and UK and Ireland Ambassador for The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Campaign, said: “There is a lot of fear among black women around breast cancer and we wrongly believe that it doesn’t affect us.

    “The data clearly shows that we are not feeling represented in awareness campaigns and that needs to change.

    “I want to encourage all women, regardless of their age and ethnicity to prioritise their breast health and act if they suspect something isn’t right.

    “I am living proof that you can survive breast cancer if you act early.”

    The study also found representation is a key factor as to why women think breast cancer won’t affect them, with 27 percent saying they never see anyone who looks like them in awareness campaigns.

    In addition, 26 percent would like to see a year-round focus on the importance of breast cancer, and 22 percent would like to be reminded to check throughout the year.

    The research, conducted via OnePoll, also found 27 percent of women think men should be clued up and know the different signs of breast cancer so they can help spot it.

    And 30 percent said teaching young adults about the importance of self-checking should be compulsory within schools and universities.

    Sue Fox, President of The ELC UK and Ireland, said: “Our research shows there are still communities that feel under-represented and are not engaged in breast cancer campaigns, so it is more important than ever to increase the visibility of these under-represented groups.

    “Our four new UK and Ireland Ambassadors will speak directly to these groups and empower everybody in their communities to self-check regularly.”

    ELC UK and Ireland’s Breast Cancer Campaign has partnered with Breast Cancer Now to create a self-check leaflet that illustrates the signs and symptoms to look out for when checking your breasts, which is available to download from https://www.elcompanies.co.uk/bcc.

  • 1 день, 1 час назад 02.10.2022Health Care
    Intermittent fasting could lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease – new study

    Dementia is the term used for a wide range of conditions that affect the brain. These conditions prevent the brain cells, or neurons, from functioning properly, affecting memory, thoughts and speech. The most common types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and Lewy body dementia.

    While there is no cure for dementia it is thought there are a number of ways to reduce your risk of the condition – including keeping your brain active as you age.

    Now a study, published in the Cell Reports journal, has discovered that how often you eat could also make a difference.

    As part of the research, a team from the University of Southern California, studied healthy mice and two sets of mice who were at risk of dementia – known as E4FAD and 3xTg.

    The mice were fed a fasting-mimicking diet for four to five days at a time, twice a month, and between these cycles, they ate a regular diet.

    Results showed the mice taking part in the fasting-mimicking diet displayed a “significant” decrease in amyloid beta – a substance that can build up in the brain and lead to dementia.

    Tau proteins, which have the same effect on the brain, also decreased among fasting mice.

    Mice on the fasting diet also had lower levels of brain inflammation.

    The study says: “The effects of fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) cycles in reducing many ageing and disease risk factors indicate it could affect Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

    “Here, we show that FMD cycles reduce cognitive decline and AD pathology in E4FAD and 3xTg AD mouse models, with effects superior to those caused by protein restriction cycles.

    “In 3xTg mice, long-term FMD cycles reduce hippocampal amyloid beta load and hyperphosphorylated tau, enhance genesis of neural stem cells, decrease microglia number, and reduce expression of neuroinflammatory genes, including superoxide-generating NADPH oxidase (Nox2).”

    It concludes: “Clinical data indicate that FMD cycles are feasible and generally safe in a small group of AD patients.

    “These results indicate that FMD cycles delay cognitive decline in AD models in part by reducing neuroinflammation and/or superoxide production in the brain.”

    The team also analysed data from a small clinical trial that studied a fasting diet on humans with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease.

    It showed that fasting would be a “safe” option for humans, however, more research is needed.

    According to the Alzheimer’s Association there are 10 warning signs that someone could have the condition.

    These are:

    The exact cause of dementia is not yet known but there are a number of factors that can increase your risk.

    These include:

  • 1 день, 1 час назад 02.10.2022Health Care
    Diabetes: Eat flaxseed for a ‘big reduction’ in blood sugar levels – expert

    Diabetes is a serious and potentially lifelong condition. Around four million people in the UK are currently living with diabetes. But like some other medical conditions, what you eat and drink can make a difference when it comes to reducing the risk.

    There are two forms of the condition – type 1 and type 2.

    Both of these result in the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood becoming too high.

    In type 1, this happens when your body cannot produce enough of a hormone called insulin, which controls blood glucose.

    Type 2 diabetes is much more common and the raised blood sugar levels are usually caused by being overweight or not exercising enough.

    An expert has suggested that incorporating flaxseed into your diet could benefit diabetes patients.

    Speaking to Express.co.uk, registered nutritional therapist and health coach at Food Fabulous – Ailsa Hichens – explained: “There has been a lot of work and research looking at the benefits of flaxseeds (milled linseeds).”

    Flaxseed can be found in most health food stores and some supermarkets either in whole form or ground up.

    Ms Hichens added: “One specific study found that people who ate 30 grams flaxseeds (about three tablespoons) in yoghurt (not low fat or fat free yoghurt) had big reductions in their HbA1c (one of the key markers of insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control) compared with people who ate the same yoghurt but with no flaxseeds.

    “To make the dish (an excellent breakfast) more palatable, you might add a small handful of fresh berries, which are the lowest sugar fruit.

    “Flaxseeds are also phytoestrogens, which means they are weak sources of oestrogen, so they are great for evening out midlife hormones.”

    The study she referenced was published in the Clinical Nutrition Research Journal in 2019.

    It concludes: “Our results showed that the addition of flaxseed to yoghurt can be effective in the management of type 2 diabetes.”

    A separate study, issued in the European Journal of Nutrition in 2020, recommended eating 10 grams of flaxseed three times a day for the best results.

    As part of the research, 15 healthy participants consumed either three flaxseed muffins containing a total of 30g of flaxseed once in the morning, three flaxseed muffins consumed at three different time points across the day (10g flaxseed per muffin) or three control muffins consumed at three different time points across the day (0g flaxseed).

    “The results of this study demonstrated that flaxseed muffins given three times a day were effective at lowering and maintaining blood glucose levels over 24 hours, compared to the control muffins and that both flaxseed treatments resulting in a lower blood glucose iAUC during the night,” it says.

    “The results of this study indicated that adding flaxseed to a daily diet produced a lower glucose profile over 24 hours in a free-living context compared to the control muffins.”

    A normal fasting blood glucose level is considered 100 milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL).

    If it ranges between 100 to 125 mg/dL it is considered prediabetes, or 126 mg/dL and higher means the patient has diabetes.

    Symptoms of diabetes can include:

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